Friday, November 19, 2010

Flashback Friday - Thanksgiving

What was Thanksgiving like when you were growing up? What days did you usually have off from school? Do you remember any Thanksgiving activities at school, such as a play or a meal? During the Thanksgiving weekend, did you travel to spend it with relatives or did you stay home? Or did relatives travel to you? What was your family's day typically like? Did you watch the Macy's Parade or something else on TV? Have you ever attended a Thanksgiving parade? Was football a big part of the day? And of course, we have to hear what your family ate! Were there any traditional foods that were part of your family's meal? Which of your growing-up traditions do you do with your family today? And if you are married, how did it go merging your two traditions/expectations?

In my early years…probably up until I was 10-12 years old, my mother’s extended family celebrated Thanksgiving at my house. We had a very average size house with a full basement, and while it was more than enough room for the six people in my family, when you stuffed another 50 or so people into it, the space became very crowded! (I grew up with 12 aunts and uncles – mom was one of 13!) I remember getting ready for the event was pretty stressful for my mom, but she always loved having her family around her! Eventually we moved the gathering to my uncle’s house – with a lot more room – and it is still celebrated there today. It is the one holiday my mom’s family gets together. I grew up very near both sides of my extended family, so traveling was not an issue.

I also remember that the Macy’s Parade was the main distraction used to keep we young- ones entertained while the food was being prepared. It was an amazing thing to see! I also remember the Rose Bowl parade – but am not sure this was at Thanksgiving. Anyway, I have vivid memories of watching the Macy’s Day parade with my cousins! Football may have been in there somewhere, but I don’t think so. There were too many people to set aside room for a ballgame. I also remember that Thanksgiving night – after all of the company left, we got to watch Rudolph, and Frosty the Snowman and other Christmas shows! I remember being very excited about that!

Food was very traditional…ham, turkey and more casseroles, desserts and vegetables than you could count. No matter how large the crowd swelled, there was always a LOT left over!

When I got married we initially tried to alternate between families during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. (families were 3 hours apart) It worked out, but was kind of stressful. While we were on active duty in the military Thanksgiving was celebrated on the military base and with friends from church – 1000 miles from family. If you want to have a heart moving experience, eat Thanksgiving with the soldiers in the chow hall! I’ll never forget that experience! Gives a whole new meaning to being thankful for your country.

For the past several years we have celebrated Thanksgiving with my extended in-law family, (Christmas is with my family) and we have a 2 ½ day event! Thursday includes all of the traditional foods, and then Friday includes football (the Iron Bowl between Auburn University and Alabama dominates the afternoon) and, music (several members of the family play guitar, banjo and standup bass – and we have had a mandolin thrown in from time to time!) and ends with a bonfire and wiener roast! We threw in a hay ride year before last! Then Saturday is spent saying goodbye as family members travel home. This year we are doing the traveling, so it will be a big change from the past several years.

I have been abundantly blessed with family, and we have a great time together making memories that will last a lifetime!

1 comment:

Mocha with Linda said...

What fun family memories! I got full just reading about all the food!

I love the Rose Bowl Parade too - it's on New Year's Day.

Thanks for playing along!